Wednesday, May 22, 2019

From @austinseminary ... "The Reed" for May 2019

• 787 Collective grant changing lives of young adults

When Central Texas resident Jimena Ibanez Martinez saw that young adults in her community with so much potential were settling for low-wage jobs and little prospect of improving the quality of their lives, she felt called to do something to help. So she worked with the 787 Collective at Austin Seminary to help develop the nonprofit A Good Start, which opened on April 12 in Marble Falls, Texas.

A Good Start provides mentoring, coaching, resource connection, and educational services for young adults in Burnet, Blanco, and Llano counties. One of the things Martinez and outreach coordinator Nancy Ramirez discovered during the process of starting the nonprofit was that many young adults don’t know what resources are available to them, including educational opportunities, job training, or even how to get a driver’s license. Others might be aware of available financial assistance for education, but they don’t know where to look or how to apply for it.

"Jimena and her team are an excellent example of the magic that happens when great ideas, powerful determination, and financial resourcing collide," says Martha Lynn Coon who directs the 787 Collective on the Seminary campus. "The mission of The 787 Collective is to encourage churches to realize their work among younger generations in new, innovative, and impactful ways. The team from Jimena's home church of Iglesia Conexiones walked this journey faithfully, spending time in discernment, learning in community about the needs of young adults, and participating in our collective work imagining and resourcing their individual project. It is powerful to bear witness to God's creative process, and I know this work will bear fruit in the community of Marble Falls."

Read more about A Good Start here.

• Professors receive grants for professional development

Professors Margaret Aymer and Asante Todd have been invited to join a Wabash Center cohort for peer-to-peer mentoring and support.

The Wabash Center offers funds to mid-career faculty of color to gather in small groups for further networking and vocational growth. The Center's web site states, "Minoritized faculty face particular challenges and pressures and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs and can provide faculty of color with strategies not only to discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well. We hope that these peer-to-peer mentoring clusters will develop and deepen the sorts of conversations that are the mark of Wabash Center workshops and colloquies."

The 2019-20 Peer Mentoring Clusters is comprised of ten cohorts of four to seven members each. Aymer, the First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Professor of New Testament Studies, is in the "Mid-career Faculty of Caribbean Descent: An Unusual Cohort Among Teachers of Religion," and Todd, assistant professor of Christian ethics, joins "Emancipatory Teaching, Scholarship, and Pedagogy in the Era of Pax Americana."

The first students to graduate from Austin Seminary with the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry 
degree include (from left): Zach Cheeseman, Caleigh Smith, Katherine Reed, Kat Bair,
Teresa Kingsbury, and José Suarez. Not pictured: Jordan Burk.
• The Class of 2019!

In anticipation of the first graduates in Austin Seminary's Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) degree, graduation will be celebrated over Memorial Day Weekend. The seven receiving the MAYM join twenty-four other master's-level graduates and ten earning the doctor of ministry degree.

The Baccalaureate worship service takes place Saturday, May 25, at 6:00 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, Austin. The Reverend Dr. Cynthia L. Rigby, The W.C. Brown Professor of Theology, will preach, and the Reverend Dr. David White, The C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education, will preside at the Lord's Table. The following day, May 26, is reserved for Commencement activities. The service begins at 2:30 p.m., also at University Presbyterian Church, and features a convocation address by the Reverend Timothy Hart-Andersen, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the father of MDiv graduate Madeline Hart-Andersen.

The public is invited to join us as we celebrate the achievements of these graduates!

• Pastoral Leadership for Public Life invites applicants for new cohort

Fellowships in Pastoral Leadership for Public Life (PLPL) is a two-year, cohort-based program designed to give pastors the tools to engage with public leaders, to reflect theologically on current events, and to connect the stories of their communities with God’s story.

PLPL Fellows—drawn from a variety of ministerial settings within a 200-mile radius of Austin—gather every other month for "Learning Intensives," a time for learning from and with leaders in the public sphere, processing with peers, and theological reflection. They also engage in a number of "local actions" in their home communities.

A recent member of a PLPL cohort says, "PLPL invited me to see a much larger picture of ministry action in the world. I have been encouraged to be more in my community and speak more for those without voice. This PLPL was a powerful point of ministry for me."

If you are a pastor, or you know a pastor, who wants to build the confidence and authority to engage in public issues, please consider applying to become part of the 2019-21 PLPL Cohort here.

• For a complete listing of the 2019 lifelong learning events offered from Education Beyond the Walls, CLICK HERE.

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